Rep. Lawson Demands Action From HUD Regarding the Deplorable Living Conditions at Valencia Way Apartments in Jacksonville
WASHINGTON DC – U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-05) sent a letter to Department of Housing and Urban Development Director Ben Carson to look into the substandard conditions the residents of Valencia Way (formerly Eureka Gardens) housing complex in Jacksonville are having to endure. For more than three weeks, the 790 residents have been forced to live without gas and hot water -- with no rapid solution in sight.
Property owners Millennia Housing Management LTD were forced to shut off the gas lines leaving residents no way to take hot showers, cook meals or properly clean their clothes. Millennia brought in trailers equipped with showers for resident use, which requires tenants to leave their homes and bathe in the parking lot. According to the owners, the gas is not expected to be restored to the apartments for approximately three to four weeks.
Lawson asked HUD to intervene to ensure that residents, who want it, are provided with temporary housing and transportation until the gas is restored to Valencia Way.
“My concern is that the residents of Valencia Way, who are still paying their full rent, are treated with the utmost dignity and respect during this difficult time,” Rep. Lawson said. “They, like most Americans, want a clean, affordable and safe place to call home. Sadly, the current conditions the residents are forced to live with do not meet that mark.”
Valencia Way receives federal funding through the HUD voucher program, which is housing subsidy paid to landlords directly on behalf of low-income, the elderly, and disabled residents.